Student Volunteer: Helping Others is Inspiring and Rewarding

hospital student volunteer

University of Nevada, Reno student Jared Link shares  what volunteering at Renown Health has taught him as he prepares for his future career as a dentist.  

Simple words of appreciation can go a long way.

For volunteer Jared Link, the most rewarding aspect about working at the Tahoe Tower surgery desk is when someone voices their appreciation.   

“I enjoy when somebody tells me that they really appreciated me and that their day would have been a wreck if they didn’t run into me,” he says. “It makes me feel like I’m really making a difference here.”

Jared began volunteering at Renown in March after a Renown volunteer coordinator spoke to the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), his pre-health club at the University of Nevada, Reno. Today, he helps the families of patients who are having surgery by giving them updates and taking them back to see their family members after surgery.

Jared is a senior biology major at the university and plans to attend dental school after graduation. He says there are parallels between volunteering and what he may be expect to do in his future as a dentist. 

“Volunteering helps with developing interpersonal people skills and seeing the stress people undergo with something like surgery,” Jared explains. “The [dental] industry isn’t as stressful, but it all relates to the same thing as you are out of your comfort zone. It helps to be able to deal with people who are kind of stressed out and in these situations. I think that is the most important benefit is learning how to deal with people.”

After graduation, Jared says he’ll have to go away for dental school, but he plans to keep volunteering at Renown as long as he can. 

“It’s really fun and rewarding,” he says. “I sometimes come in feeling lazy, but I always leave with a big smile on my face. I’m glad I came every time.”

He does have some advice for those wanting to volunteer at Renown: Do it, but make sure you are dedicated to the time you are committing.

“You will have to keep a set schedule,” he explains. “They will work with your schedule, but you have to have the time. If you can’t afford the time or you aren’t 100percent committed, don’t do it. But if you are committed, then come in. They are really friendly and they will definitely help you every step of the way.”